Here's what brands to buy to help struggling dairy farmers
TWO dairy farms near Ipswich have closed.
It comes as sales of branded milk have dramatically dropped off, following a surge last year.
The plight of dairy farmers gained national attention in May last year when buyers showed their support for Queensland farmers by ditching the $1 supermarket milk.
Now, that support has faded and about 75% of the increased sales of branded milk have dropped off.
The two Scenic Rim dairy farmers who closed their operations last month have declined to speak to the media, but the closures were confirmed by Beaudesert MP Jon Krause.
There are just 400 dairy farmers left in Queensland, with 200 farms closed since 2011 when the supermarket "milk wars" began.
Queensland no longer has the capacity to produce the volume of milk its residents consume.
Many dairy farmers receive about 50 cents a litre for their milk, which is about the same amount it costs to produce each litre.
Some are in a better position than others, depending on who they're supplying their milk to.
Queensland Dairyfarmers' Organisation president Brian Tessmann said while the sales of branded milk hadn't slipped right back, sales had decreased dramatically.
He said consumers could make a huge difference to farmers' lives simply by spending a few extra dollars on branded milk.
"It hasn't fallen back to as low as it was before, but it's at least three quarters of the way back to where we were," Mr Tessmann said.
"It's disappointing but I guess once it's out of the front of consumers' minds, they will buy the cheapest thing."
Mr Tessmann is anxiously awaiting the findings of an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report into the dairy industry.
He said politicians needed to work with organisations like the QDO to work out how to help the industry.
"If consumers want to help Queensland dairy farmers, please don't buy the $1 milk," Mr Tessmann said.
The ACCC's report into competitiveness, trading practices and transparency is due before November 1.
Brands that support our farmers
- Dairy farmers
Where: Major supermarkets and any of the boutique brands including:
Where: Ipswich IGAs, Foodworks Redbank Plains, Foodworks Karana Downs, Spring Lakes IGA
Scenic Rim 4Real Milk
Where: Ipswich IGAs, Booval Newsagency, Yamanto Country Markets
Mooloo Mountain Milk
Where: City Country Foodservice, Wulkuraka
Baffle Creek Milk